Mrs. Landry's Land of Learning

A place dedicated to learning for ALL students!

The Wonderful World of Mathematics

on July 22, 2012

The past Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday I attended CAMT in Houston, TX with many other Texas educators.  What is CAMT?  It is the Council for the Advancement of Mathematics Teaching.  The entire conference was centered around math for all levels.  As it was in Houston, and I’m just outside of it, my coworkers (there were 5 of us) and I carpooled in each day.  It meant getting up at 4 am each day to ensure I was dressed and at the meeting place on time so we could start driving in at 6:15.  Needless to say it was tough getting up but I did it.  And it was worth it!

For three days I went to sessions and listened to great ideas and of course went shopping!  I came away with a lot of ideas and hopes for the next school year.  Because my district pretty much sets what I use for my whole group time, I concentrated on what I could use with my small intervention group.  This is my group of low babies who gets worked with every day.  I also looked for ways to differentiate for my G/T students as that’s another one of my goals.  I got a lot of what I was looking for.  Now to start listing it out…

My first session was on the 100 chart and using it to build number sense.  It was presented by author and teacher Stephanie Sheffield who helped write the books It Makes Sense! Using the Hundreds Chart to Build Number Sense, Grades K-2.  I have not bought the book…yet.  You can click the picture below to order it from Amazon.  It has great ideas and even data sheets to record observations.  She mainly had us doing games and we discussed what they can be used for.

It Makes Sense! Using the Hundreds Chart to Build Number Sense, Grades K-2

Now before I describe one of the games, she gave us a couple of points to think about.  In my classroom, I have 100 charts that are 2-sided.  One side is filled in while the other side is a blank grid.  She said we should have those separate.  It’s too easy for students to look at the other side rather than show us what they know.  Also, once students have mastered counting by ones, they need to stop.  What?  I know.  I was floored too.  But she said students need to be counting in groups as quickly as possible.  Since the 100 chart is divided into groups, it makes sense that students need to be counting that way as much as possible to enable them to concentrate more on operation they are performing and less on the actual counting.

So one of the games was called “Don’t Get Lost”.  Students need a blank 100 chart and a counter to move.  Give students a starting number and they should put their counter where they think it should be.  Tell students where to move on the board- up, down, right, left- and how many spaces.  Students then tell you where they are.  Now this is particularly challenging with a blank chart.  So it was suggested to use a completed one first for those that need it.  I know my G/T students would love to try it without any numbers.

After that, my next session was on using songs to help students remember information.  It was presented by these two ladies who were so cute.  They’re cousins!  They told jokes about each other and kept us laughing and singing the whole hour.  We sang songs to the tunes of “You Are My Sunshine” and “The Ants Go Marching”.  My favorite was the song “Old Mac Donald had a Barn Full of Polygons”!  They were also selling books and accompanying CD’s but I decided not to buy any.  A lot of us did do our voice recorders to record what we sang while in session.  I like music (I sing and play the flute actually) and I’m not afraid to look silly and get my first graders singing if I know it helps.  That’s how my students last year learned the days of the week and months of the year.  🙂

After that I went to two more sessions and did some shopping.  My favorite thing!  What did I see there and what did I buy?  Well you’ll just have to wait and find out next post!  Did you attend CAMT or another major conference?  What did you love the best?  Comment and tell me!

Happy Teaching!

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